Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: Question about XML-RPC and Microsoft

Author:Dave Winer
Posted:2/2/1999; 5:40:25 AM
Msg #:2629 (In response to 2628)
Prev/Next:2628 / 2630

My question is, if this this the case (and I truly hope it is) why hasn't Microsoft mentioned it in their anti-trust case?

That is an excellent excellent question!

In fact I sent an email to Bill Gates yesterday, suggesting that they use it to deflate McNealy's accusations that Microsoft is a closed loop, a planned economy, and therefore a bad thing that should be broken up.

I can't explain it, any more than I can explain why anyone else does anything they do. In my experience, Gates has been consistent on this for many years. We both tried to lobby Apple to open up their networking protocol when they shipped System 7 and after being blown off we shared our disgust for their selfish short-sightedness. But maybe Bill knew they were going to blow him off, or suspected it, and maybe he likes to mess around with other people's stupidity. Who knows? I'm not a mind reader. (To people who are concerned that I'm bashing Apple, this was a very old Apple, in 1991, none of the current crew was there then.)

I've been listening to various Microsoft people on this subject for quite a while, and the best explanation I can offer is that they are set in their ways and not in unison in their enthusiasm. Like many large companies they reorganize frequently, and the people who chart the course in anti-trust may not be aware of what the people in the labs are doing, or how it might relate to their case. That's why I sent the mail to Gates, but it's a 25 percent probability that he will respond, based on past experience. He works at a much higher level than this.

And from what I've seen, he's stubborn, esp when it comes to government involvement in his company's strategies. He may prefer to fight this case with a relatively weak argument, to set a precedent that he can run his business as he sees fit without accomodating his competitors. I understand that and think I would probably do the same if I were in his shoes. That's why it's better for all of us if McNealy et al just shut up and stop complaining so much about Microsoft and start worrying about shipping competitive products.

And of course all this colored by my own experience, so take it with a huge grain of salt. Microsoft is so diverse that they can afford to expore fifteen different angles at the same time. Their interest in XML-RPC could be superficial. Of course I think that would be a mistake, but I've been wrong before..

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